Annoying Sibilance=digital glare?

I've slowly been tweaking my system closer and closer to subjective goodness, as we all do, and my most recent addition has left me a bit less than stunned. Swapped out all the interconnects (a mixture of mediocrity) with solid silver from Homegrown Audio (at the price, silly not to at least try it) and the result is a new and annoying sibilance, mainly on female vocals. It's tempting to blame it on the interconnects (sure, blame the newcomers) but I am also tempted to lay some of the blame on my front end, an AH!Tjoeb'99 with upgraded Siemans tubes, which is possibly now confronted with a downstream chain that simply outclasses it. While I’m asking for a diagnosis, here’s what downstream is: VTL 2.5, Bryston 4b-st, (w/ the Homegrown-come-Kimber KGAC knockoff throughout), Kimber Monocle XL, Thiel 2.3. -or- Headroom Home and Sennheiser HD600 - sibilance equally bad in both, if not slightly more annoying on the cans. [Long intro, now for the question:] If I put the old interconnect back between the CDP and the PRE (yes, Monster cable, though I’ve got 2-3 other’s to try as well) and that “cures” my sibilance problem (assuming it might) am I just veiling an inadequacy in the CDP which was finally brought to unacceptable levels by the much more detailed silver cables, or, is it one that we chalk up to “synergy” and declare that silver just don’t belong there? Alternatively, as I am hoping to upgrade my CDP in the not-to-distant future, is this something (the sibilance) that I can expect a new CDP to clear up? And, finally, “digital glare” is a term of art that that I have yet to put a good, first-hand, audible definition on - is that what’s setting my teeth on edge with all this hissing shit? Many thanks, (and I hope someone can make sense of this ramble...)
Synergy, digital glare or outclassed source are all possible sources of the problem. One thing not mentioned was how long the new ICs have been in the system. It took ~100 hours of playing time for new silver ICs to settle in on my system at which point the upper mid-range glare disappeared. They improved for another 100 hours, but only slightly and that may have just been my getting accustomed to the change in dynamics. If you've given the ICs time to break in and the problem still persists a warmer tube for the CDP might be in order. Other than that it sounds like you know the possible sources of the problem, as well as the other solutions.
Not quite at 100 hrs yet. Patience, eh? -- cheapest fix yet. Thanks.
I am also in the process of breaking in these interconnects. Search under Homegrown at this sight and you will find more info. Everyone that has responded regarding break in time, both from Audiogon and by private email, has suggested 100-200 hours as Fpeel notes above. The manufacturer states a noticable inprovement after 50 hours or so and that more is better. When I finally give them the real audition(at 200 or 300 hours) I will also experiment with speaker placement (ugh!) in order to fine tune for the different tonal characteristics of the new cables. Be patient (I'm not) and let us know what happens.
I've been breaking in the HGA interconnects also for sbout 3 weeks. they replaced AQ Emeralds in my all tubed system. Definitely know what you mean. The sound has gained in clarity, soundstage depth, etc., but sibilance is quite prominent. I probably have about 60 hours of play into them. Will make final assessment in a few weeks..but these are too good a bargain to not have a bit of patience. No way I'd be able to find a 2.5 meter run of silver IC's, terminated w/ Neutriks at one end and RCA's at the other for this kind of SS!
Brakin is important 100/200 hours minimum.silver can be bright in certin systems.I tried a Alpha-Core Silver Cable the lower end one 127.00 list canr remember the name.It added sibilance and made it anoying to listen to.silver is not allways what its cracked up to be.with solid state amps it can be even worse.Give them 200 hours and listen again.
Give the cables the "warm-up" first (patience)... If this doesn't work, change the cables. I have noticed this issue on my gear with Kimber and other Silver cables. I know the $$ is a difference, but Audioquest Anaconda does not do this at all (and is Silver).
It took around 100 hours for my cables to break in. I agree with J k.
Ok, what really surprised me is that I had logged well over 100 hours on these guys (I actually built four pairs and have them liberally scattered throughout the system) and they were, at that point, more or less fine. Then I decided, lord knows why, to switch out the terminators on two pairs (PRE to headphone amp and PRE to main amp) in favor of a locking RCA. (I justified it by reasoning that the connections on the Bryston are a little lose and would therefore benefit from a locking RCA...and while I was doing one pair, might as well do two?). It was only after the switch that I really noticed the damnable sibilance. So, relatively old wires + new termination = start from scratch?!? We'll see whether time mellows the new RCA's, else I might just be tempted to switch them back. Jeeze....
Anything in the signal path may cause this. How good are the locking RCAs?? Different alloy or metal plating combinations can make the same piece of wire sound like a whole different animal when you change connectors (as I'm sure you know at the moment). Solder and mechanical bonding techniques of the wire can also change the sound.
Read somewhere in the 'net that signal voltages during cable breaking-in alters the insulating dielectric material molecularly. Beside the obvious insulating property, it possesses also a dielectric constant due to its chemical composition. Teflon/kynar/teflar for instance have low constants compared to say PVC/rubber which has relatively higher constants. Higher no. means greater capacity to store energy from the voltage present in the conductor it insulates. The stored energy in dielectrics degrades the original signal by being discharged back to the conductor causing a smaller out-of-phase "reflection" signal which all hi-end gear readily pick up and amplify faithfully. That's why ins. materials in audiocables do determine how they sound. Breaking in do smoothen this a little over time when the molecules find their stabilized position?? i don't know! Some food for thought; the perfect dielectric is a vacuum. Can you imagine an interconn made of bare wires? MHO a good cable design should have minimum dielectric material to minimize stored energy. (I've constructed such a DIY ic with good result using kynar, plse email if you require more info). The site also said that it's important that the conductor material ie copper, silver etc be annealed, of high purity with grains formed under oxygen free manufacture. Otherwise the intergranular spaces become like thousands of diodes right from the first hour of manufacture!! Sorry for this long post, i have no other way to tell this story.